Tuesday, December 18, 2012

B.Right.On Festival

I have been commissioned by Vince Laws to film the opening events of his B.Right.On Festival in Brighton on 1st February 2013. I'm looking forward to it. I really enjoy working in different parts of the country and I really enjoy working with Vince. He's a bit of a creative dynamo at the mo - his plan to have an exhibition in Brighton has rapidly evolved into a full-on festival with loads of amazing stuff happening throughout the month with all sorts of choirs, artists and activists. It's going to be a joy to make a movie that will promote the festival and capture the magic of Vince's work. It's also another opportunity for OUT140 to spread its wings and fly - Vince will be having speech bubbles of the stories in the library and selling our dinky books. I can't wait for the new OUT140 stories that will come in. Vince was interviewed on Out in Brighton radio show this week. I'm impressed by the podomatic website they use for their podcasts - am thinking making podcasts might be something I should explore.....

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Natalie's 30th Birthday

I filmed Natalie Drury's 30th Birthday Party in the summer which was a great pleasure. I first met Natalie and her mum in 2007 when I filmed them for a Carers Assessments DVD. They are a fab family, very passionate about Nat and her independence and her right to a full and happy life. I filmed them again earlier in the year for the Journeys DVD, commissioned by the UEA Nursing School to raise awareness of the needs of patients with learning disabilities. That's when Pauline asked me if I did birthdays too. The party was fantastic - every carer since Natalie was a small child was invited, as well as her big extended family. I captured as much of the action as I could - Pauline's emotional speech, the amazing malteser cake arriving, the singer entertaining everyone on guitar. I also interviewed as many people as possible to find out what makes Natalie so special.....her smile, her family, her personality, her love of chocolate! We uploaded the film to YouTube and facebook so people could watch it online and Natalie has ordered extra copies of the DVD for Christmas presents.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Queer Art Club

I have set up a new group called Queer Art Club with a fantastic artist called Eloise O'Hare. We have both been previous Art Leaders for Norwich Pride. We want to form a club so that artists can meet all year round to share ideas & skills, visit exhibitions, have workshops and talks etc. Our aims are "to make art, make a living and make Norwich Pride amazing". We have been working with Edith Karnitsch from Terra Network to develop a website using WordPress. Edith has been brilliant - very patient with us. 

Here's what we've done so far: www.queerartclub.org.uk. There's a long way to go but what's been interesting is how our ideas about the club have developed as we've worked with Edith to create the website. For example, we want helping artists "to make a living" to be an important focus of our work - part of the reason Eloise couldn't continue as the Arts Leader is that she needs to focus on getting paid for her art. Now I have always been very proud that I have made a sustainable living from my filmmaking but times are hard - with the recession and cuts in government funding, there isn't the same amount of work around that I was used to for my first 10 years in business (during a Labour government). I've never really had to think about marketing myself before - each film advertised the next. Now, film feels like such a luxury compared to saving front-line services. I have to convince people what a vital form of communication it is - and worth paying for.

So how can Queer Art Club help me? Well, there's going to be sections on "Jobs" where people can advertise Jobs they've got available so some interesting bits of work might come up there. We'll also have a "Wanted/Offered" section for equipment so I'm hoping that will help with my clear-out now I have moved from the Tea Lounge. I'm looking forward to picking up new skills from the workshops we'll organise and inspiration from the exhibitions we'll attend. Most of all though, I'm excited about working with more and more artists - Eloise has done some wonderful illustrations for my films; Joe Ballard has been brilliant doing drama and Kimberley Moore has been amazing making music. These are the things that will give Shelly Telly projects "extra value" and make them extra special - well worth investing in.....